Contemplating God

Sitting in the chapel, I am reminded of the many,

many years I’ve come here

How this place, these people,

The noises of iron bell, swishing robes, strum harp strings,

rubber soled shoes on flat rock floors,

The cant and thump of the heavy wooden door yanked open and

Then thudding shut

Coughs, shifting, zippers pulled, coats adjusted

Then singing and prayers and incantations


My belief is like this

Old and worn

Not shiny or popular

It’s comfortably broken in

Like broken=in boots

Or a jacket worn for so long

That it now carries me with it

even when it is not on my body

It carries my shoulder’s imprints,

those of wrists and chest and back

It smells like me

And has tears and scuffs and stains

Parts missing which show a well-lived, if

clumsy and not always careful, life

A life spent usually running or jumping into life,

helping others, adventuring,



My belief in God is worn

And tried

Scuffed and stained

We have been through quite a lot and still here we are

And still I believe

That surely God made me,

And made me the way I am, perfectly imperfect,

for His divine purpose

in a manner He knows and sees

And I try very hard to appreciate His

Craftsmanship even as I struggle with

It – with the way I am


Because even in the midst of my darkest

Darknesses, which usually occurred in the most

Bleak of nights,

When I could not see any light

Nor hope

When I was sure the world was a better place without me,

When I was sure that no one would really care,

Part of me believed that God cared,

And that I was worth His caring


So here we sit,

Comfortable and used to one another

In the midst of some incense and the smell of melting wax

The flickering glow of pillar candles and not much else

With the cold and darkness outside

But warmth and community inside

Sharing our space

With those who want to join us here.15621749_10210479003163471_4250665093633248065_n


6 thoughts on “Contemplating God

  1. Hope hope – light – even in the darkest moments – and sometimes, doesn’t it make it even harder to stop and be in the thicket, the forest at its darkest, and to feel the “child like innocence” of hope – an almost desperate longing – with no absolute certainties or understanding, certainly no guarantees – perhaps this is what true faith is? I have no ideas – but I certainly can feel the emotions throughout this piece Jen – and I always – always wish you the gift of hope, light –

  2. and in that desperate longing, there is light and hope—it is why we go on, even drag on, to another day…as i’ve sat in churches, i always light a candle to give me hope when i need it in my darkest hour…so deeply, thoughtfully written, Jen—it is an offering to the grace of living sometimes (sometimes often) in the darkness of the soul…with a God too sustain us…

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